Can Cats Eat Tuna? – Answered In Detail

We all know that cats adore fish as owners. Can cats, though, eat tuna?

Cats frequently enjoy tuna as a treat. Cat owners used to feed their cats canned tuna back when we had access to a broad range of cat food. However, thanks to recent research, we now know that our cats have significantly higher nutritional requirements than we had previously imagined.

Therefore, is it okay to give our cats tuna? What we’re about to learn will answer it.

Giving your cat only tuna won’t provide the proper balance of nutrients for continued health. Before introducing any new foods to your cat’s diet, it is usually a good idea to consult your veterinarian.

What Are The Benefits Of Tuna For Cats?

When eaten in moderation, tuna has several health benefits for cats, including healthier skin and coat, elimination of free radicals, and more.

If you are giving tuna in moderation, then it can be a healthy treat for most cats.

Tuna is high in protein and low in carbohydrates and as tuna is a fish, it provides our cats with omega-3 Essential Fatty Acids (EFA’s) which are good for skin and coat health.

Tuna has many other health benefits, should it be part of a balanced diet and given in portions which work alongside their other cat feed.

These benefits include:


Tuna is high in protein and amino acids which can help cats grow. The nutrients found in tuna can help boost muscle growth.

Improve immune system

Tuna contains essential vitamins that can improve a cat’s immunity.

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Increased energy levels

Omega 3 fatty acids can help increase energy levels in your cat.

Eliminates free radicals

Tuna also contains lots of antioxidants, which can help remove free radicals. These compounds can aid in reducing blood pressure too.

Disadvantages Of Tuna For Cats


Obesity is when our cats have an excessive increase of fat in the adipose storage areas of the body. It involves an increased mass of body fat produced either by an enlargement of fat cell size alone (hypertrophic obesity) or by an increase in both fat cell size and fat cell number (hyperplastic obesity). Obesity in cats contributes to health concerns such as diabetes, urinary disease, arthritis.

Read More: Obesity in Cats: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

To prevent obesity, giving fewer treats and human food is a good starting point. As cat owners, it is nice to treat your cat. But if you are going to share treats, ensure they remain a treat, not a regular source of additional calories.


Believe it or not, some cats can be allergic to fish. If you notice that your cat has signs of skin disease or has digestive upsets, then your cat may have a food allergy. If you notice any symptoms or if your cat is unwell, contact a veterinary surgeon straight away.

Tuna Is High in Mercury

Tuna is high in mercury, a toxic metal. Too much tuna could potentially lead to a buildup of mercury in the body. This is rare, but signs you could see are incoordination, loss of balance and problems walking. If you notice these signs, seek veterinary advice immediately, as other health problems may be apparent.

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If your cat is being fed too much tuna, then it can increase the production of Thiaminase. In cats, this enzyme can break down an essential B vitamin called thiamine, potentially leading a dangerous condition called thiamine deficiency.

Fussy eaters

Some cats, when given tuna regularly, could start refusing well-balanced cat food and hoping they will get something tastier instead (like tuna!) This can turn into feeding trouble.

On the flipside, tuna can be used to encourage unwell cats to eat, given in small amounts.

Is It Safe For Cats To Eat Tuna?

If you are going to give tuna as a treat alongside a complete and well-balanced diet, then this is fine but too much can be harmful.

Giving your cat solely tuna will not give them the right balance of nutrients they need to remain healthy. It is always a good idea to talk to your veterinary surgeon before adding any new foods to your cat’s diet.

What Sort Of Tuna Is Best For My Cat?

The type of tuna you give your cat determines whether or not it’s a good choice. Cats should eat unseasoned tuna packed in water.

It is best to give your cat canned tuna which is packed with water, ideally not in oil or tuna with added salt or other flavorings, which could cause health problems.